Why mailing nudes is such a crude business

The naked human form is something that has piqued our interest for centuries. From cavemen sketching stick figures on walls to Greek sculptors spending hours carving realistic marble gonads onto statues, we’ve always loved seeing a beautiful set.

As the technology fell into our hands, it was only natural that we would start sending each other photos and then videos of our bits.

« What are you wearing? » is a text that many of us either sent or received, likely followed by a series of obnoxious emojis.

Sexting, as it’s called, is an art form. There’s a lot more to it than just capturing your nethers and passing them on to someone else with the intention of arousing them, or at least cheering them up during a boring work meeting. In its purest form, sending nudes is an expression of sexuality.

« I take a lot of photos of myself, » says Phillis Mukami, makeup artist and aspiring model. « Sometimes I have so many variations of the same photo in my gallery that my friends make fun of me. And yes, some of the photos are nudes. It’s not because I’m sending them to anyone. I love my body the way I look. I take these photos for myself.”

For Patricia Sango, a multimedia student, sending files is the part of a relationship she has had to learn to accept.

« It’s normal these days. I’m in a relationship, we send each other intimate photos all the time. But even before that, when I made an appointment, the guys either asked if they wanted to see my file or sent me theirs, expecting to get something in return. In today’s dating world, nudes aren’t a big deal.”

It’s easy to forget how new our comfort with nudity is.

Derrick Amunga is a self-proclaimed senior bachelor. A proud one and a long-suffering one. He’s not too far removed from his father’s generation, when men and women first saw each other naked on their wedding night.

« I remember when mail was the only viable way to communicate with your girlfriend. Even making an appointment was a problem as there were no phones, so you had to agree during the date when the next one would be.”

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« We walked. We had picnics. The ladies dressed very conservatively, there was no question of physical contact until the relationship was well advanced. And even then, even catching a glimpse of an ankle was lucky. Young men of today don’t know how lucky they are these days with all the eye candy they have access to.”

Like these young men, social media and dating apps have turned Amunga into a kid in a candy store.

“Even without asking for nudes, the women on social media and dating apps are so carefree, they dress so skimpy that nothing is left to the imagination. I’ve dealt with several who even offer to sell this file. »

It’s true that we’re much more comfortable with nudity. It’s also true that social media has changed the way we deal with nudity and, by extension, with the opposite sex.

« Technology has changed the way we relate to men and women, » explains Kendi Ashitiva, a psychologist at Niskize Counseling. « It has changed the way we express physical interest, sexual interest and romantic interest. It’s also changed how we court each other, » she says.

According to Kendi, the body is a crucial part of a relationship. Just like physical touch is one of the languages ​​of love. And yet it is increasingly possible for relationships to take place without this aspect.

“People can now know each other online long before they can meet physically. And when people date online long before they meet physically, the relationship tends to evolve online as much as it does physically.

For example, while there would be no holding hands, there would be other expressions of sexual interest or affection. Just as nudity would eventually occur in a face-to-face meeting and based on individual values, people are also sharing nudity online as a form of sexual expression.”

« We send nudes because we want to arouse, » says Moses Mutua, a sociologist and lecturer at Moi University.

« But there’s an empowering aspect to women sharing more nudes than men. It’s a way for her to explore her sexuality and feel safe in her body. A woman who is unsure of her body will not send you nudes. If she knows she’s ‘blessed,’ she’ll send you nudes even without you asking. »

Still, sending nudes is a risky business, as we’ve been reminded time and time again. Celebrities have seen their careers derailed due to misplaced nudes. Politicians have been embarrassed by this. Sending your lover a pick-me-up on a boring Monday might seem like a no-brainer in the age of the internet, but there’s always a risk.

« If you’re having sex with someone privately, nobody needs to know about it, » adds Kendi. “You did and left; The only way anyone can arm it is by sharing stories that have no proof.

« The problem with files is that what should have remained private is now at the mercy of the other person. The online space does not guarantee you the privacy that the physical space offers.”

We all know those « Bro Ocholla » moments that have become an annual event. The « Baba Gloria » moments, when a photo or message is sent to the wrong recipient, or in the latter case, to a WhatsApp group planning a funeral.

It’s a mistake anyone can make. And one that is unfortunately incredibly difficult to bear.

As Kendi puts it, “It’s a stain to live with. You don’t have to die with it; Remember, you have to live with it. In time people will learn to live with it. But it’s not fun, it’s not easy and it’s not something I would wish on anyone. »

So is it worth sharing intimate photos in a world where anyone can intercept your passwords or hack your phone?

« That should not be a problem; You are allowed to send your partner some ratchet.

« But while nudity has its place in an intimate relationship between two people, you should always keep in mind that this thing might get out of the reach of both of you.

« It’s a private moment, and the moment it stops being a private moment, catastrophe happens. It’s like walking naked.”

At the end of the day, Kendi warns, there’s more to a relationship than just nudes.

“A relationship is about devotion, love, nurturing, concern. Not just sex.”

“The meeting of genitals is not a complex process. Anyone can give you the dopamine from sex. But if you want a real relationship, you have to go deeper.

“You actually have to connect with someone. The sex should then be an extension of your existing connection,” she says.

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